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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Food
Feel
Price
7.1
7.5
$50
Modern
Upmarket restaurant

Hours
Tue–Thu 11:30am–2:30pm
Tue–Thu 5:00pm–9:30pm
Fri–Sat 5:00pm–10:30pm
Sun 5:00pm–9:00pm

Features Date-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.foebistro.com

Branford
1114 Main St.
Branford, CT
(203) 483-5896
Foe
A flabby menu that needs tightening if it wants to keep up with the competition

Foe may be more accessible in its new digs closer to the Branford Green, but it’s lost the cozy charm of the old building to a space that is somewhat sterile. It’s pale and clean, often seen with more people at the small bar watching sports (with the sound turned off) than in the dining room. It’s not for lack of service, which is friendly and attentive; warm sourdough bread arrives at the table along with a whipped honey butter (whose sweetness would be better suited to a true Southern cornbread).

What seems to keep the throngs at bay, rather, is a menu that may have once been interesting, teeming with adjectives and gourmet ingredients, but now comes across as derivative and unfocused. Among main courses alone, there are half a dozen choices each of seafood, poultry, and meat. Each entails a description nearly biblical in proportion.

Execution isn’t the problem here; concept is. An appetizer of corn flan has correctly seared scallops, but should only be offered in summer, when there is fresh, sweet corn. Otherwise, it tastes rather like eggy canned corn. Roasted Blue Point oysters with bacon, lemon, and thyme have shown restraint, allowing the briny meat to shine through. In general, meats and fish are cooked properly, but sometimes paired with ingredients that overwhelm the proteins. Greens and potatoes have tasted like old cooking oil; whipped brie and meaty mushrooms have smothered delicate veal. Crab-cake-encrusted tilapia and aioli-baked cod are like the Versailles of fish dishes. How about grilled filet mignon with melted gorgonzola and Merlot reduction? Not much here is refreshing and delicate.

The beverage program (if you can call it that) is subpar. The wines are of the sort that you might expect to see discarded in a paper bag in some park. The cocktails are hideous chimeras of sugar-addict-tailored syrups.

Of the boring-sounding sweets, the best one has the worst name: the “Double Gooey Chocolate Butter Cake.” It’s actually a surprisingly restrained, elegant cupcake of chocolate, salty and sophisticated, with a tender crust that soaks up its cappuccino gelato beautifully. This dessert is, ironically, less cloying than either the honey butter or the drinks list.

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